The judges are carefully selected for their wealth of experience and expertise, as well as their absence of conflicts of interest.

IMPORTANT: The judges are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement and are required to declare any conflict of interest in entries over which they deliberate, and to stand aside from deliberations concerning those entries. 

Judging guidelines

The panel is carefully selected to ensure the Awards judging process is fair and objective.  We select individuals to serve as judges who have distinguished themselves in their field and who demonstrate exceptional leadership ability and vision. We hold our judges to the highest standards of fairness, accuracy and integrity. The entire judging process adheres firmly to these guiding principles.

Judges will take part in a judging conference call, where the winners will be decided, with one expert per category will be asked to summarize the judges’ comments and provide any additional input as required. All judges are required to sign a disclaimer form to keep information about entries and the final winners confidential.

Rob Mirsky - Principal, KPMG


Principal, KPMG

Robert is the Global Head of KPMG’s Hedge Funds Practice and a Tax Principal in the firm’s New York Financial Services Practice. He has over 15 years’ experience in advising financial services companies and hedge funds. Robert attended Boston University where he received a BA in Political Science, and American University’s Washington College of Law (Washington, D.C.) where he received a JD. Rob is a Member of the New York Bar. He has worked with Big 4 firms in London, New York, Washington DC, Milan, Bangkok and the Cayman Islands.

Peter Harris, Advisor, Phatisa


Advisor, Phatisa

Peter Harris qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA). He completed Articles with Deloitte in Cape Town and continued employment with Deloitte at both their Kimberley and Johannesburg offices, culminating as a Managing Consultant in the Special Services Group. Peter left the profession for commerce in 1997, initially joining Meadow Feeds, a division of Tiger Brands, followed by over ten years at AFGRI, fulfilling the roles of Group Financial Manager and General Manager Sustainability. Peter provides accounting, advisory and authorship services to a variety of private and public companies.

Thomas Venon, Founding Director, Eighteen East Capital


Founding Director, Eighteen East Capital

Thomas is a founding director at Eighteen East Capital, an advisory company with a focus on impact investing and development finance, with offices in London and Cape Town. He has 17 years’ experience in the asset management industry. Recently head of institutional business at African Alliance Asset Management, he previously was a director at S&P Fund Research, and held senior positions at RBS/ABN Amro. He holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town and a Masters in Applied Finance from the University of Melbourne. In addition, Thomas founded the Africa Impact Report in 2011.

Oliver Hoffmann, Portfolio Manager, 27four Investment Managers


Portfolio Manager, 27four Investment Managers

Oliver has worked in various equity investment related roles spanning sell-side and buy-side listed equity research, private equity and fund of funds management. Prior to joining 27Four Investment Managers, where he oversees the Africa ex South Africa fund of funds product proposition, Oliver was responsible for Sub-Sahara Africa banking research at African Alliance Securities. He has been involved in Africa ex SA capital markets over the past 8 years and is based in Cape Town, South Africa.


Managing Partner, Brightmore Capital

Dmitriy Fotiyev is a Managing Partner at Brightmore Capital, a multi-sector impact investment fund and advisory group empowering the new generation of African entrepreneurs. Brightmore Capital fills a financing gap for SMEs in some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic economies of the world and invests in a segment that is under-served by banks and other sources of private financing. The firm is a source of smart capital in the 500k to 5MM EUR range, bringing transformational expertise to the businesses it invests in. Prior to Brightmore Capital, Mr. Fotiyev worked at The Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms. Prior to Carlyle, Mr. Fotiyev was a consultant at Accenture. Mr. Fotiyev has a deep understanding of the private equity industry and VC/PE investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. His focus is improving the lives of emerging consumers while generating strong investment returns.

Said DeSaque, Founder & CEO, DeSaque Macro Research


Founder & CEO, DeSaque Macro Research

Said DeSaque is Founder & CEO of DeSaque Macro Research, which was formed in 2012. He has over 30 years of experience working as a professional economist in financial services, primarily based in London. Prior to establishing DeSaque Macro Research, Said held positions as Senior Economist and Investment Strategist at US banks Robert W Baird and William Blair. He began his career as a graduate at PaineWebber in 1986, where he eventually became Head of the London Economics Department in 1996. Said has a keen interest in international relations, along with their implications for economic development and financial markets. His research interests include, amongst many others, the economic transformation of emerging and frontier markets, particularly in Africa, and its implications on global capital markets. He is a member of Chatham House, a leading independent global think-tank on international affairs and economics in London.


Fund Accountant, Phatisa

Raksha Ramkilowan qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA, CMGA). She completed articles with PricewaterhouseCoopers in KwaZulu-Natal and then expanded her career into financial services with employment at the Hollard Group. She then took up a more specialised financial role at Ethos Private Equity at their Johannesburg offices, overseeing their three earlier funds, such as Sphere Fund I, Ethos Technology Fund and Ethos Private Equity Fund V. After a five-year career progression at Ethos Private Equity, she then left to join the team at Phatisa.



Tanya joined SAVCA in March 2017, after a rewarding 10-year career at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) with her last role being Director of Academic Programmes where she also served on the board of the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC), an international academic association that represents the Executive MBA industry. Tanya is passionate about human and organisational development. During her time as a learning and development specialist focusing on management and leadership development, Tanya gained valuable experience working with various companies across a wide range of sectors. She holds an MBA and Post-Graduate Diploma from GIBS where her MBA research focused on methods to develop a global mindset. Tanya also holds a BCom Informatics and Honours in Business Management from UNISA. Tanya is the mother of a teenage son and a sports enthusiast.

Daniel Broby, Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Strathclyde


Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Strathclyde

Daniel is a finance academic and formerly a senior figure in the fund management industry. He is Director of the Centre for Financial Regulation and Innovation. In addition to previously managing African equity and fixed income funds, Daniel has held a number of executive level positions in the investment world. These include Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer and Chief Portfolio Manager. Daniel has written numerous books and articles related to capital markets and has had two peer reviewed papers published on what the appropriate index is for African equity funds.